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Grand National 2019: Five Horses to Watch Out For

| 16.02.2016

The 2019 Grand National is almost upon us and that means it’s time to take a closer look at some of the contenders set to battle it out around the prestigious Aintree course.

2018 winner Tiger Roll is the obvious favorite at the top of the market. Gordon Elliott’s charge could be the shortest price National winner ever if he comes home first again.

But who else should punters be looking out for come the big day on Saturday 6th April? We’ve run the rule over five more horses to keep an eye on ahead of the 2019 Grand National.

Rathvinden – Willie Mullins – Paul Townend


Willie Mullins hadn’t been having a great season by all accounts. That was until Al Boum Photo got up to deliver the trainer his first ever Cheltenham Gold Cup success in mid-March.

Now he could be on a roll. And that has us eyeing up the interesting Rathvinden. The 11-year-old conforms to age, weight and recent run trends having raced inside the last 50 days.

His ability as a stayer isn’t in doubt either. He’s won over 3m three times as a chaser, including a gritty success over 4m ahead of Ms Parfois in the 2018 National Hunt Challenge Cup at Cheltenham.

That’s all well and good. But it’s his latest form which grabs our attention. The gelding warmed up for Aintree with a 3½l win over Alpha Des Obeaux in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February.

Not only is that the same route Hedgehunter took en-route to Grand National success in 2015. It also represents an excellent piece of franked form based on the runner-up’s previous results.

Carrying top weight, Alpha Des Obeaux previously finished second to Invitation Only in a red-hot renewal of the Thyestes Chase with the likes of Mall Dini and Pleasant Company in behind.

Lake View Lad – Nick Alexander – Henry Brooke

It’s difficult to knock Lake View Lad. Nick Alexander’s charge always gives an honest account and has finished in the frame in all bar one of his last 10 starts over fences.

That includes a cracking run at 25/1 behind Beware The Bear and Vintage Clouds in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

He stayed on well that day over 3m 1f and looks to have the stamina and progressive profile required to have a real crack at the 4m 2f slog demanded at Aintree.

Victories in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle and the Rowland Meyrick Chase over 3m prior to that further add to his claims, and so too does the horse’s owner.

One Trevor Hemmings – Grand National winner with Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015) – will have his silks don the gelding for another National tilt.

The raider’s handicap mark may have risen to 155, but with more improvement likely, don’t be surprised if the Oscar gelding goes close – especially if there’s tread in the ground.

Ms Parfois – Anthony Honeyball – Aidan Coleman  

There’s one thing you need to know about Ms Parfois. She stays longer than Theresa May. Anthony Honeyball’s eight-year-old loves nothing more than a dour old slog over an extended distance.

So it’s a bit like Brexit in that regard. The good news for this mare is that the Grand National offers just that. And her profile makes her a more than interesting candidate on Merseyside.

The Irish-bred raider runs consistently well over 3m+ and confirmed her claims with a stout staying performance to finish runner-up behind Potters Corner in the 4m 2f Midlands Grand National.

It’s a quick turnaround from Uttoxeter to Aintree. But that shouldn’t bother the daughter of Mahler, who has run well off the back of short-break before.

She always jumps well, will go off a very handy weight of 10-02 and makes plenty of appeal at the each-way prices available.

Ultragold – Colin Tizzard – Harry Cobden


First thing’s first. There’s no guarantee Ultragold will run in the Grand National. Colin Tizzard’s charge is dual-entered in both the National and the Topham Chase, which he’s won twice before.

If he does go for the main event, then it could be lick your lips time for each-way punters. To put it simply, Ultragold has such an association with Liverpool he may as well be the fifth Beatle.

He just loves the Aintree fences. In four runs around the Merseyside course, Ultragold has placed every time, including wins at 50/1 and 14/1 in consecutive years in the Topham Chase.

His ability to stay isn’t in question either. The Kapgarde gelding kept on well to finish third in the Becher Chase in December over 3m 2f off a mark of 148 – 11lb higher than winner Walk In The Mill.

Subsequent runs in a Grade 3 contest at Warwick and in the Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival haven’t proved quite as taking, but it’s that Aintree form which we keep coming back too.

If he shows up on his favourite stage once again, then he could make a serious dent off a competitive mark at a huge price.

Jury Duty – Gordon Elliott – Robbie Power  

Gordon Elliott could have as many as 14 or 15 darts to throw at the 2019 Grand National. Tiger Roll is his golden arrow. But 2018 American Grand National winner Jury Duty also deserves a look.

That stateside soiree isn’t a great form marker for this, especially as it came over hurdles rather than fences. However, his seasonal debut at Down Royal recently is a really nice piece of form.

The eight-year-old jumped well throughout to spring a small surprise and usurp even-money favourite and fellow National hopeful Mala Beach over the 3m 2f distance.

He’ll carry 10-07 for the Aintree contest as a result, which appears to be the golden bracket with each of the last three winners carrying between 10-07 and 10-13.

Other key form trends including a run prior to 34 days to the National, rated 137 or higher and less than six wins over fences, have also been met.

His age would traditionally count against his chances, although with three of the last four winners doing so as eight-year-olds, it might not be as much of a disadvantage as it once was.

The Jury’s out? Not on this National contender.

Click here for the latest 2019 Grand National odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication



Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.